June 1st marks the deadline for two FCC EEO requirements. First, by June 1st, radio and television stations located in Arizona, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming, must prepare their Annual EEO Public File Reports. Specifically, stations or Station Employment Units (SEUs) in those states (and DC) with five or more full time employees (30 hours or more per week) must: (1) prepare their Annual EEO Public File Report; (2) place it in the public inspection file of each station comprising the SEU; and (3) post the Report on the websites, if any station in the SEU has a website, all by June 1. The Annual EEO Public File Report summarizes the hiring and EEO activities conducted by the station or SEU during the past 12 months. The Report provides information about the full time job positions filled in the last year, the recruitment sources used to fill those positions, and the outreach activities that the station or SEU performed during the year. In preparing their Annual Reports, stations are encouraged to carefully review their EEO activities and take the time to organize their records. Stations should have appropriate documentation to back up each of the recruitment sources used for each job opening, as well as for each outreach activity. This annual report is also a good time for the station or employment unit to assess the success of its outreach and the efficacy of its recruitment sources, and to make any adjustments necessary to improve EEO compliance in the coming year. A copy of our longer EEO advisory can be found here.
Second, in addition to preparing the Annual EEO Public File Report by June 1, larger radio stations in Michigan and Ohio (those with eleven or more full-time employees), and television stations in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia must also prepare and file electronically with the Commission an FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report. The Form 397 provides the FCC with copies of the SEU’s two most recent Annual EEO Public File Reports, and is an important part of both the station’s compliance with the EEO rules and the Commission’s monitoring procedures. While normally the Annual Report is simply prepared and placed in the station’s public file and on the website, at the mid-point of the license term stations must actually provide the FCC with copies of its two most recent Reports. Notably, June 1st marks the first time that television stations will have filed the Form 397, as television renewals are staggered from radio renewals. Following the renewal anniversaries, television stations in other states will follow later this year and next. And again, only radio stations or SEUs located in Michigan and Ohio that have 11 or more full-time employees, and television stations in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia with five or more full-time employees are required to file an FCC Form 397.